The man who battles world hunger but refuses to be the Maitreya Buddha
After his degree in Economy, Raj Patel worked for big organisations like the World Bank and the World Trade Organization, only to turn against them in his fight against food related world issues. He is concerned with many issues: genetic manipulation, food safety, starvation, food prices, modernisation of agriculture, the monopoly held by massive food producing conglomerates and the G8 policies regarding all these issues. It was primarily his bestseller Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System that earned him his name and fame.
Patel’s work did not go unnoticed in spiritual circles either: in 2010 there was a lot of speculation, caused by a sequence of coincidences according to Patel, about whether he was the new Maitreya, or The World Teacher or Prince of Peace. Patel himself would rather see a world in which people work together to solve (food) issues: “the world I’m keen to live in: one without princes but with billions of world teachers, in which we live under neither God nor Master” (The Guardian, 2010). It is one of the reasons that he started the international Generation Food Project, where stories and ideas from all corners of the globe are shared about making our food systems healthier and more sustainable.